By Betty Milonas
The recent development of new technologies and 3D printing inspire artists to experiment with contemporary art practices. This allows the artist to explore the relationship between science, art and technology to invent and redefine artistic practices that engages with the public.
No Vacancy presents the exhibition Space Between by Dr. Trinh Vu who works with 3D printers and computer graphics technology to create large scaled sculptures. Dr. Vu is a Fine Art and Multimedia artist and lecturer with over 10 years of researching and creating projects that explore the development of technologies in contemporary art practices.
Space Between consists of five large scaled 3D printed sculptures that experiment with shape and natural form. Vu has created an artificial garden inside the gallery through the application of 3D printing and laser cuts. She describes the artworks as a ‘folly in the form of a magic land’.The exhibition does not only experiment with technology but also creates endless ambiguities of our surroundings. Our inner space is being challenged by the constant development of new technologies. The sculptures are presented in a small white narrow gallery that are placed on the floor and hung from the ceiling, creating a fabricated space for human interaction.
Pokeberry (2015) is a beautiful 3D printed sculpture of a native plant that is hanging from the ceiling, near the gallery’s entrance. The texture and precision of the mechanical-made pokeberry plant is an exact replica of the original that is brought to life by the inclusion of the green plastic stem and soft lighting. The installation and the application of various materials invite the viewer to inspect and walk around the 3D printed sculpture, encouraging us to question the mechanical creation.
Vu’s use of digital technology has reproduced the natural elements of native plants and landscape. On closer inspection the viewer is able to admire the precision, patterns and forms of the artwork, asking us to ponder the difference between the natural world and fantasy land. For instance, Strange Attractor (2016) is constructed of ABS plastic and 3D printing, which evokes a series of geometric patterns referencing nature. The reproduction of the plant is a white and serene sculpture hanging from the ceiling, offering a contemplative space for the viewer. With the inclusion of the soft lighting inside the white structures and the darkly lit room we are transformed into the magical land. The geometric shadows created by the delicate patterns resonate throughout the gallery room, adding to the magical aura inspired by nature and technology.
Space Between addresses the relationship between the natural world and artificial creation of nature by constructing a fantasy world. We are invited to reflect upon the native plants, and also admire both Vu’s imaginative creation and the capabilities of new technologies. Evidently, the fantasy land offers a contemplative viewing experience for the gallery visitor.
No Vacancy Project Space
Tenancy 32, The Atrium
Melbourne VIC 3000
Exhibition dates: 27th January – 14th February 2016